Telling the Whole Story
If, as adults, we only share with youth about the ‘wins’ in our life, we are setting them up to fail. Here’s why: For youth, the future can be extra frightening for them. Not only do they have the same pressures as we did at that age, but in the day of technology it’s even more stressful. When adults only talk about the wins (or highs) of their life while leaving out, arguably the most important part (the fails and lows), youth believe that is all life is: the wins! So when that youth experiences a low, or a bump in the road, they think that’s NOT the way that life should be and they aren’t prepared to handle it. No one had shared that these lows are perfectly normal, so they suppress it for fear of embarrassment because it’s ‘only happening to them’. Now imagine if adults had been sharing the WHOLE story with youth all along and the youth then experienced a low in their life. They would realize this is normal, they would know that they will get through it and that lows and losses are all apart of the journey to a win. Life isn’t perfect and adults aren’t as well. Let’s show our youth that. Let’s show them that it’s alright to struggle, to have days that aren’t as great as others, to cry, to laugh, to struggle and to triumph. Let’s show them that it’s perfectly okay to be a human instead of a robot. It’s wonderful to be a role model of greatness for our youth, but greatness isn’t actually perfection, greatness shows us for who we really are (and were) including the scars we incurred along the way. Let’s not fool our youth into believing every day is sunny. Let’s prepare them for the reality of rainy days, of stormy days, of severe storms while also letting them know the sun will always shine brightly at some point. If we don’t share this information in advance, they won’t be prepared with an umbrella when it does rain, they will be left there alone to get soaked!